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Wildrose withdraws bid for caucus cash

The Wildrose Alliance — the big threat to the governing Progressive Conservatives — went to a legislature committee yesterday to get more research money, but shelved the idea in what became an object lesson in power politics.

The Wildrose Alliance — the big threat to the governing Progressive Conservatives — went to a legislature committee yesterday to get more research money, but shelved the idea in what became an object lesson in power politics.

The Alliance was seeking $233,000 from an all-party committee that has a majority of government members on it. But the party backed away when it was suggested the money should come from the research budgets of all politicians — including other opposition parties.

“I’d like to talk this over with my fellow house leaders and Independents,” Alliance house leader Rob Anderson told the member services committee as he shelved the motion.

Speaker Ken Kowalski, chairman of the committee, said he would need an answer by February to make the necessary budget changes.

“Ya got that?” Kowalski asked Anderson, who had joined the meeting by speaker phone.

“Yup,” said Anderson, his voice flat.

“Can you live with that?”

“Yup.”

“Can you be happy about that?”

“Overjoyed.”

It was the third time the Alliance had brought the dispute before the committee, which determines budgets and other financial matters for the legislature’s 83 members.

Recent polls suggest the parties are virtually even with an election up to 18 months away.

 
 
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